How To Take Care Of A Fresh Tattoo?
Aftercare for Your Tattoo – So, how can you make sure that new tattoo is something you don’t end up regretting? Follow these steps while your new tattoo heals.
- Be sure your artist covers your new tattoo in a thin layer of petroleum jelly and a bandage.
- Remove the bandage after 24 hours. Gently wash the tattoo with antimicrobial soap and water and be sure to pat dry.
- Apply a layer of antibacterial/Vaseline ointment twice a day, but don’t put on another bandage.
- Gently wash your tattoo area twice a day with soap and water and gently pat dry before reapplying the antibacterial/Vaseline ointment.
- Keep applying a moisturizer or ointment after you clean it to keep it moist.
You should repeat this process for 2 to 4 weeks. Also try not to wear clothes that will stick to your tattoo, and avoid swimming and the sun for about 2 weeks. And take cool showers. Scalding hot water will not only hurt, but it can also fade the ink. Wear a physical blocker sunscreen with at least 7% zinc oxide sunscreen during the daylight hours and/or cover it up (with clothing, a bandage).
- 1 How do I take care of my tattoo on the first day?
- 2 How often should I moisturize my new tattoo?
- 3 Can I use Vaseline on my tattoo?
- 4 What cream is best for tattoo aftercare?
- 5 Can I shower after a tattoo?
- 6 Can I drink alcohol after tattoo?
What should you not do after a tattoo?
How do I take care of my tattoo on the first day?
First Day/Night – Keep the bandage on for a minimum of 6 hours. We recommend keeping it on overnight provided the dressing feels comfortable and secure. If you decide to remove the bandage before going to sleep, follow the instructions in the next section to properly remove the bandage and clean your tattoo.
On your first night, there’s a chance your tattoo will still bleed. The blood can dry overnight and stick to your clothes or bedding. If this happens, gently take the fabric off. DO NOT force it off or be rough with it.
If it still does not come off, wet the area with lukewarm water and gently slide it off. Fresh tattoos sometimes “weep” during the first couple of days, meaning that plasma and ink form a thin moist coating on the skin. This can be DABBED with a clean paper towel.
- Press the paper towel to the skin and remove;
- Do not wipe the tattoo or be rough with it;
- Do not panic when you see the colors of the tattoo on the paper towel, or on your hands as you clean it;
- This is simply excess ink being secreted from the surface or the skin;
To avoid stains, use towels and bedsheets with darker tones and wear dark clothing.
How long does it take a tattoo to heal?
How long does it take for a tattoo to heal? After getting a tattoo, the outer layer of skin (the part you can see) will typically heal within 2 to 3 weeks. While it may look and feel healed, and you may be tempted to slow down on the aftercare, it can take as long as 6 months for the skin below a tattoo to truly heal.
How long do I wait to wash a fresh tattoo?
The first wash – After usually no less than 5 hours, it is safe to remove the bandage and wash the tattoo. After thorough hand-washing, a person can gently wash the tattoo with hypoallergenic soap and warm water using their fingers. The moisturizer on the skin will come off, and the tattoo may appear as if it is oozing ink or a thick, sticky substance.
This reaction is not usually a cause for concern, as it is just the excess fluid and ink from the tattoo process. After washing, a person should pat the skin with a clean paper towel and allow it to air-dry for up to an hour.
When the area is completely dry, they can apply a thin layer of moisturizer to the tattoo, but leave it uncovered to allow the skin to breathe.
How do I take care of my tattoo the first night?
This info should guide you through the care of healing your tattoo, but if you have any other questions while it is healing, do not hesitate to contact your artist directly or call the shop for immediate reply. There are no stupid questions about healing.
- – After your tattoo is completed, your artist will bandage your tattoo for your trip home;
- Leave the bandage on for one to three hours;
- When you take the bandage off, wash it with very warm water (as hot as is comfortable) and mild liquid hand soap (like Dr;
Bronner’s, Dial or Softsoap, just no perfumed or exfoliating body washes). Pat it dry gently with a paper towel, and let it air dry the rest of the way (never scrub the tattoo with a towel or sponge). Then you will apply a very small amount of Aquaphor Ointment or plain, unscented skin lotion (we recommend Aveeno, Lubriderm, Curel, or any of their generics) to the tattoo, just enough to lightly moisturize.
- Your first night sleeping, your artist might recommend you re-wrap the tattoo with plastic wrap (like Saran Wrap) to sleep without the tattoo sticking to your sheets. This is generally for larger or solid-color tattoos. If your artist did not recommend re-wrapping, just let the tattoo stay exposed to air overnight.
- Every day from then on, you will wash the tattoo in the morning and at night, and apply lotion 3 times a day or so, or whenever the tattoo feels dry or tight.
- Always wash your hands before touching the tattoo.
- DO NOT apply Vaseline, Neosporin, Bacitracin or any other medicated or perfumed product to your tattoo.
- After a few days, the tattoo will form a thin scab over it, and in about a week the scab will begin to flake off in the shower. DO NOT pick or scratch at the scab, just keep it clean and moist and the scabs will all fall off by themselves in about two weeks. Picking any of the scabs off will cause faded color and damage to the skin.
During healing do NOT:
- Wrap the tattoo after the first night (wearing breathable clothes over it is fine as long as they are not causing friction. (Keeping tattoos wrapped in plastic or bandages will stop air from getting to the tattoo, slow healing, and make gross stuff grow in there. )
- Submerge the tattoo in water. This means baths, pools and oceans. Regular showering is fine.
- Expose it to strong sunlight (Like outdoor activities or beach days. Walking to your car is fine)
- Shave over the tattoo (ouch!)
When all the scabs fall off and the skin feels smooth again to the touch, it is all healed and you can shave over it again, and swim and everything else. Sometimes after the scab falls off there is a secondary shiny, raised or waxy coat over the tattoo. This is just another healing layer of skin. Continue to moisturize it and it will smooth out by itself over time. If you have any questions about your tattoo while its healing you are always welcome to come by the shop and have us check it out, or email the artist who did the tattoo with “AFTERCARE” in the subject line for an immediate response.
Do not slather a big, thick coat of product over it; just enough for it to stay moist and flexible. If you are using Aquaphor, you can switch to a plain lotion after the first few days. Lotion is generally fine for everyone, your artist will recommend if you would benefit from ointment.
If something doesn’t look perfect After your tattoo is finished healing, we’ll do our best to make it right. Sometimes with excessive scabbing, or other unpredictable reactions during healing, your skin can reject some ink, leaving a “light spot” that is closer to your skin color in the tattoo (or a line might get thinner or lighter in one spot).
This is common as its unlikely your body will accept every spot of pigment uniformly, so just contact your artist via email after your tattoo is finished healing with a photo to see if a small touch up is in order.
Unless you were negligent during the care of your tattoo, touch-ups are very minor and quick, and guaranteed by our artists if you contact them about it within 3 months of getting the tattoo. Because older tattoos that have settled in fully and aged require more work to make uniform, we suggest coming in as soon as possible when it’s healed, as touch ups are performed for a fee at the artist’s discretion after 3 months.
Is it OK to wear clothes over a new tattoo?
So, What Kind Of Clothes Should I Wear Over a New Tattoo? – After getting a tattoo, and during the healing process, which can last between 2 weeks and a month in its initial and most important stage, you should be wearing loose-fitting clothes. That is of course if the tattoo is placed on your body apart from the neck, head, and feet.
For those areas, you need to pay special attention, especially in the case of feet tattoo (the issues of wearing socks and shoes). Loose clothes will cover the tattoo so much so that it stays protected. There is a lower chance the fabric will stick to the tattoo and introduce contaminants as well.
There will be minimal or rubbing of the fabrics against the tattoo, which will significantly minimize healing issues or the chance of an infection. Note: After getting a new tattoo, it will be wrapped and well protected. You can wear loose clothes over the wrap and not really worry about it.
How often should I moisturize my new tattoo?
How Often Should You Moisturize Your Tattoo? – Professional tattoo artists always recommended one moisturizes their tattoo(s) once or twice a day. The best way to moisturize a tattoo is by doing it in the morning and in the evening. It is also important to apply lotion or ointment after taking a shower, to protect the tattoo from drying out.
Note : Make sure to wait between 10 and 20 minutes to apply lotion/ointment onto the tattoo after a shower. In that time, the tattoo will dry naturally, so when you do apply a moisturizer, it will soak into the skin nicely.
By applying lotion onto a wet tattoo, you’re risking overdoing it.
How do you shower with a new tattoo?
– Yep. It’s fine if your tattoo gets a little wet, but it shouldn’t be submerged in water or left under running water for long periods of time. Keep time in the shower to a minimum, and be gentle to avoid irritating your newly tattooed skin. This means skipping the loofah or washcloth — at least over the inked area, anyway.
- Getting your rub-a-dub on elsewhere is totally fine;
- In addition to being abrasive on freshly inked skin, loofahs, sponges, and washcloths can harbor bacteria and increase your chance of an infection;
- Wash the area gently using only a mild, fragrance-free soap;
Products with alcohol and certain chemicals can irritate and dry out the skin. This can lead to scarring and slower healing. If you have strong water pressure, try not to focus the spray directly on the inked area. Standing under a shower and letting the water run over you or using your clean hands to rinse the tattoo is fine as long as you don’t linger longer than you need to.
Can I use Vaseline on my tattoo?
– Vaseline isn’t the best choice for tattoo aftercare. Petroleum jelly traps moisture and bacteria, which can lead to infections and scarring if your tattoo doesn’t get enough air while it’s healing. You may be able to use Vaseline on old tattoos if your skin is dry. aftercare ointments and lotions While your tattoo artist should give you the supplies you need for your immediate aftercare, you can also purchase extra ointment and lotion online:
- A+D ointment
How should a tattoo feel after 2 days?
Traditional Tattoo Healing Method – Directly Following Your Tattoo Appointment The tattoo healing process starts as soon as you walk out of the tattoo studio. Your tattoo artist should cover your tattoo with some type of wrap (cling wrap, medical pads, etc.
- ) to protect it on your way home;
- “This usually stays on for approximately 2 hours,” says Caldwell;
- “It will trap any of the blood and plasma (clear fluid) that leaks out immediately after being tattooed;
This bandage also protects your new tattoo from the outside elements and keeps the blood from clotting to form a scab. ” Your tattoo artist will cover your tattoo with a temporary bandage or plastic wrap. After removing the covering placed on your tattoo by your artist, you should carefully wash the tattoo with warm, soapy water using an unscented, antibacterial soap. Do not use any type of washcloth or loofah—simply clean it with your hands to remove any plasma and ink from your skin.
- “You want to make sure you always pat dry with clean paper towels and then apply a thin layer of ointment,” says Caldwell;
- Try to wear loose-fitting clothing to bed, since your tattoo will likely continue to leak overnight;
Days 1-3: Oozing and Sore During the first few days, your tattoo is still an open wound and will be sore, painful, and warm to the touch. The skin around your tattoo might also appear slightly red and swollen. During the first days of tattoo healing your tattoo will continue to release plasma, blood, and ink—this is completely normal.
- Plasma, which is a clear liquid, makes up the largest part of your blood ( 55 percent ) and it’s release is part of your skin’s natural healing process;
- It’s important to keep your tattoo as clean as possible during this time;
Follow the same cleaning instructions (wash with soapy water, pat dry, apply a thin layer of ointment) as the night before. “Wash your new tattoo at least two times a day—when you wake up and before bed,” says Caldwell. If the tattoo is really leaky, you can add one more wash to the rotation to remove excess goop. Wash your new tattoo carefully in the shower using fragrance-free soap. Apply a thin layer of moisturizer or aftercare ointment after your tattoo is fully dry to help minimize scabbing. “The moisturizer/ointment is crucial to keeping your tattoo from forming a scab,” says Caldwell. “The softening of the skin prevents this. ” Follow your artist’s aftercare instructions carefully.
- All tattoo artists recommend different aftercare products and have their own tattoo healing methods;
- Trust and listen to your artist;
- Days 3-7: Dry, Tight, and Starting to Flake After the third or fourth day following your tattoo appointment, your tattoo will begin to dry out;
It may feel tight. Swelling should start to subside, though your skin might still feel warm and uncomfortable. By the end of the first week, you will likely see your tattoo flaking. This is also a normal part of the tattoo healing process. What tattoo flaking looks like. “Flaking is simply your body shedding its outermost layer of skin,” says Erin Belley , an artist who works at the Parkdale location of Boss Tattoos Collective in Calgary, Alberta. “But this time, the skin had been damaged and filled with ink, so it comes off in larger flakes and full of color.
” If you see your tattoo flaking, don’t be alarmed. This is not a sign that ink is being removed from the skin. Just make sure you let your tattoo flake naturally. “As long as you’re not picking at it, scrubbing it, or peeling the flaky skin off, you should be fine,” adds Caldwell.
Days 7-14: More Flaking, Scabbing, and Itching During the second week of tattoo healing, your tattoo will continue to flake, and you may start to see scabs forming over some areas of the tattoo. While trying to prevent scabbing is recommended, tattoo scabbing is not uncommon.
“I would consider scabbing normal, but not ideal in tattoo healing,” says Belley. “Scabbing is what happens when the plasma is not efficiently cleaned off of the tattoo after your body is finished producing it (usually between 24-48 hours) and it evaporates and dries.
” Caldwell explains that scabbing may also happen if you apply too much moisturizer or ointment to your tattoo or if a particular part your skin was overworked during your session. Do not pick at the scabs on your tattoo. Continue to wash and lightly moisturize your tattoo as instructed by your artist.
- During this time, you may also experience the dreaded tattoo itch;
- Some may experience a mild itch, while others will experience an intense itch;
- Your skin will be dry and flakey as it heals, so some level of itchiness is to be expected;
Some clients may also have a slight allergic reaction to some inks, which may cause an itchy feeling. Although it may take every ounce of willpower, do not scratch your new tattoo. Not only could this affect how it looks, but you can also cause infection or irritation.
- Eventually, the itch should subside;
- Days 15-30: Slightly Dry and Dull Most tattoos will finish flaking and essentially be healed around the 2-week mark;
- But it still may take a couple of weeks for your tattoo to fully settle in;
During this time, your tattoo may look a little dull or faded. This is normal and once the tattoo is fully healed and settled in, its brightness will return. You may also feel slightly raised portions of your tattoo during this stage, but this should eventually disappear.
How do I know my tattoo is healing properly?
– Tattooed skin goes through a healing process, just as your skin takes time to heal after other types of wounds. You’ll likely experience:
- pink or red skin at the site and surrounding area ( not a widespread rash)
- slight inflammation that doesn’t extend outside the tattoo
- mild itchiness
- peeling skin
Do color tattoos hurt more?
So, Do Color Tattoos Hurt More? – Generally speaking, ink color doesn’t determine the amount of pain you’ll feel. The color simply doesn’t have to do anything with the pain of the tattoo. As we mentioned, tattoo placement, your pain tolerance, and your tattooist’s technique are the main factors determining how painful the process will be.
Sure, there was a time when colored ink used to have a thicker consistency than black ink. This was an issue since it took the tattooist longer to pack the colored ink, which in itself hurts. The longer you’re getting tattooed, the higher the skin damage and the more painful the process becomes.
Nowadays, all inks are of similar consistency, so there isn’t an issue there. Now, if your tattoo artist takes a long time to complete the tattoo, you’ll experience more pain as the process goes on. Also, if the tattoo artist uses a dull needle, chances are the process will hurt more.
Sharp, new needles tend to hurt less. Now, as the needle gets worn out, it remains sharp, but it dulls out a little bit. This small difference in needle sharpness can promote faster skin damage and of course, cause more pain.
If your tattooist uses white ink highlight , you can expect more pain. This is again not because of the needle or the ink color, but rather the pain is caused by the repetition of needle penetration in one place. In order for the white ink to fully show and become saturated, the tattooist needs to go over the same area several times.
That is what causes skin damage and pain. Now, after all of the information, we do have to point out that there are people who swear that the coloring/shading of the tattoo hurts more than the linework or tattoo outline.
Pain is a subjective thing, so it can be hard to be exact with the answer to whether color tattoos hurt more than regular ones.
Should I moisturize my tattoo the first day?
You should start moisturizing your tattoo as soon as it starts to dry — not before. This can generally take about 1–3 days after you got your tattoo. Be sure to wash and dry your tattoo with antibacterial soap and choose the appropriate moisturizer as well.
If you’re new to tattoos, we recommend that you educate yourself on the complete healing process. We go into detail on the precautions you need to take, how to get the job done, and how often to moisturize.
If you’re a tattoo-head, it might be worth your while to get a refresher, as well.
What cream is best for tattoo aftercare?
Best Overall: Aquaphor Healing Ointment Aquaphor’s Healing Ointment is of the most widely used tattoo aftercare treatments, and you’ll find a lot of artists quick to recommend the old stand-by.
Can I shower after a tattoo?
You Can Shower After Getting a Tattoo, But Remember to Use Mild Soap – When it comes to showering after a new tattoo , it’s best to ask your tattoo artist when you can lather up. Their answer will depend on the type of bandage they use to seal their work before sending you off.
“Depending on what type of bandage you receive determines when you can shower,” Metz-Caporusso tells Bustle. “If you get Saniderm or Tegiderm, then you can shower immediately. This type of covering is waterproof.
If you get a classic bandage or cling wrap, then you must wait anywhere from two to 12 hours, depending on what your artist recommends. After you take that off, you can shower anytime. ” But it’s important to use a mild, fragrance-free soap when you do shower or wash your new ink.
- Think classic Dial soap or anything anti-bacterial and gentle;
- After a gentle washing, Brooklyn-based tattoo artist John O’Hara recommends applying Aquaphor to hydrate the skin and create a barrier to prevent infection;
“The key is to apply a very thin layer, let the skin absorb the Aquaphor for about 10-15 seconds, and blot off the excess with a sanitary paper towel,” O’Hara tells Bustle. “This will give you the right amount.
Can I drink alcohol after tattoo?
Drinking before or after – That drink beforehand is not smart. Bruno Vincent/Getty Images If you’re thinking about downing some liquid courage before taking the plunge, think again. Drinking before and after getting a tattoo is a no-no. Alcohol thins your blood, which means excess bleeding. When you bleed more than normal, it can cause visibility issues for the artist, potentially compromising the quality of the design.
- Excess bleeding can also thin the ink;
- Of course, there’s also the fact that alcohol impairs judgment, and you don’t want to make permanent decisions while impaired;
- And it’s not cute if you have to stop and puke in the middle of a four-hour tattoo session;
Furthermore, drinking after the fact can compromise the healing of the tattoo because of its effects on your blood, so take it easy for a bit.
Can I go to gym after tattoo?
How long do you have to wait? After finishing your tattoo, your tattoo artist will most likely suggest that you wait at least 48 hours before strenuous physical activity and heavy sweating. The important words are ‘at least. ‘ It generally takes 4 to 6 weeks for a wound to heal.
What happens if a tattoo gets too wet?
When you get a fresh tattoo, there is a lot of care involved to preserve the artwork. Your skin is a delicate canvas and your tattoo requires specific treatment. So what happens when a brand new tattoo gets wet ? Well, a lot of things, actually. If it’s kept wet, the softened scab will peel and stick to things, damaging what is essentially a healing but beautiful wound.
All the experts I spoke to for this piece (as well as the artists I’ve gotten my own ink from) agree that a fresh tattoo should never be submerged in a bath or a swimming pool during the critical healing phase.
However, it should be cleaned with soap and water and patted dry. Wash a new tattoo gently and then keep it only slightly moist with a thin layer of lotion during the healing process. It’s a simple rule to follow: Protect it, but don’t saturate it. It should not be drenched or immersed in a body of water for any length of time.
Joe Klein of Majestik Creations in Mooresville, Indiana tells me over email, “It is actually pretty simple when looked at from a different perspective. A tattoo is, in fact, a ‘sore,’ when broken down into simplest terms.
A needle punctures the skin, leaving behind a plasma film. If that film is soaked in water, it is the same as soaking a scab in the tub. It gets soft, comes off, and leaves scarring. Too much aftercare will cause the same effect. ” Yuck. It’s also why swimming should be avoided during the healing phase.
- Klein says, “There are chemicals in pool water that are not good to get under the skin, which can actually lead to blood poisoning;
- ” Rachel Rosenberg, who was a tattoo apprentice in Chicago before she swapped out her needle for a headset as an NYC publicist, also explains via an email interview why keeping new ink dry is essential;
“What happens to a new tattoo when it gets wet? It will stick to things!” she says. “Your fresh tattoo should be kept away from fabric at all costs, especially when wet, so as not to have your clothes attach or stick to your new piece and dry there. ” Having to pull fabric away from the healing artwork can mess with the skin and the piece itself.
- “One should never be making an effort to keep their brand new tattoo ‘wet,'” Rosenberg continues, commenting on how some tattoo newbies tend to over moisturize during the healing process;
- “If anything, a thin layer of Aquaphor is what you want and then your tattoo wants to be left alone, aside from the few times it’s washed gently with Dial soap and patted dry with a clean paper towel;
” Alex Varkatzas , singer of the band Atreyu and a tattoo artist who has plenty of ink of his own, echos Rosenberg’s sentiments when I spoke with him, explaining that a wet tattoo could get infected. “A new tattoo should be kept clean and only slightly moist from unscented lotion,” he said.
“It should be treated just like an open wound. If a new tattoo gets wet, clean it and dry it. Then you’ll be OK. ” To recap: While you need to keep your tattoo clean, do not soak your tattoo or the scab will soften, fall off, and leave a scar.
Stick to a quick rinse in the shower, and you’ll be good to go. Images: Giphy (1); Body Electric Tattoo /Instagram (3).